AROUND MISSISSIPPI — Mississippi State University quarterback and All-America candidate Dak Prescott is among the first three finalists named for the 2014 C Spire Conerly Trophy to be presented at a Dec. 2 awards program.
Joining Prescott as finalists are Belhaven University wide receiver Greg Livingston and Mississippi College defensive back Dylan Klibert. Mississippi’s 10 football-playing senior colleges have until Nov. 24 to submit their individual finalists for the trophy that annually goes to the state’s top college football player.
Prescott, a junior from Haughton, La., has led the Bulldogs to three victories over teams that were unbeaten and ranked among the nation’s Top 10 when they played Mississippi State. He has passed for 2,521 years and 20 touchdowns and run for 861 yards and 11 touchdowns. Last year’s winner was Bulldog offensive lineman Gabe Jackson, now with the Oakland Raiders.
Livingston, a senior from Houston, has averaged 122 receiving yards per game with 117 catches for 1,341 yards and eight touchdowns for the Blazers. Klibert, a senior from LaPlace, La., intercepted two passes and was in on 48 tackles, including seven for lost yardage for the Choctaws.
The C Spire Conerly Trophy will be awarded Dec. 2 at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. Among past winners were such prominent future NFL standouts as Deuce McAllister, Eli Manning, Jerious Norwood, Michael Boley, Patrick Willis, Anthony Dixon and many others. Earlier this year, McAllister, the leading rusher and touchdown scorer in Ole Miss and New Orleans Saints history, was the first C Spire Conerly winner to enter the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
For the second time in the award’s history, fan voting will count for 10 percent of the award and a panel of statewide media will make up the remaining 90 percent.
“Football fans across Mississippi are very passionate about their schools and the star players in their respective programs, especially with the success of several teams this year. We’re excited to give fans the ability to help influence who wins the C Spire Conerly Trophy,” said Jim Richmond, vice president of corporate communications for C Spire. Fan voting will begin on Nov. 25 at 8 a.m. and conclude on Dec. 1 at 8 a.m.
Just as the media voters do, fans will vote for a first place, second place and third place winner. Fans will be able to vote by Facebook, Twitter and via text messaging. Fans may submit up to three votes per day during the voting period; however, only one entry is allowed per day for each of the social media methods. For entry rules and qualifications on fan voting, go to www.cspire.com/conerly beginning on Nov. 25.
The C Spire Conerly Trophy banquet is nearing a sellout, but still has limited seating for the Dec. 2 program at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. The second annual Kent Hull Trophy also will be presented to the top college offensive lineman in Mississippi at the event. A 5:30 p.m. reception will be followed by the 6:30 p.m. dinner program. Coaches and finalists from all the schools are expected to attend. For ticket availability or more information, call 601-982-8264.
Now in its 19th year, the Conerly Trophy presented by C Spire is named after the late Charlie Conerly — the only football inductee in the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame who was an All-American at a Mississippi university, an NFL rookie of the year and NFL All-Pro member and quarterbacked a team to a world championship. C Spire has sponsored the outstanding player awards program for all major college sports in Mississippi since 1998.
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